NABE Weekly eNews
Dec. 31, 2014

Academic conversation develops deep comprehension: Specific procedures and assessment
By: David Irwin
From March 6: Academic conversation is a strategy that increases student engagement and comprehension in content topics. It is ideal for English learners because it gives them a safe environment to practice academic English with a peer who has more mastery. In the third part of this three-part series, we'll discuss specific procedures as well as an assessment of the entire conversation. More

Sheltered instruction and English language development: Defining ELD
By: Erick Herrmann
From May 8: In Part 1 of this series, two popular models of sheltered instruction were explored: Project GLAD and the SIOP Model. Most educators agree that it is important to meet the needs of English learners in the classroom through sheltered instruction and differentiation, but there is sometimes confusion on explicit English language development: what it is, what should be taught in ELD and when ELD should be taught. In this article, English language development will be explored in more depth. More

Fusing language acquisition with approaches to teaching music
By: Beth Crumpler
From Nov. 6: Most language teachers will agree that songs and chants help students master another language. In addition, language teachers will agree that using movement and hands-on learning experiences, such as in total physical response strategies, also help students acquire language. Just like language teaching, music teaching includes approaches that utilize movement and communication. The two most common approaches to music instruction are the Kodaly and Orff methods, which have similarities to language instructional approaches. More

What we talk about when we talk about best practices: Types of curricula
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
From Oct. 30: In Part 1 of this series on best practices in ESL programs, we looked at the overwhelming research that supports integrated curricula. Today, we will look at two types of integrated curricula: theme-based learning and culture-based curriculum. If you are revising your ESL curriculum or are establishing a new program, or if you are a teacher interested in teaching for a best practices program or a student eager to study in a best practices program, it is clearly advisable to consider a curriculum that is theme-based and/or culture-based. More

Teaching learning strategies to ELLs: What, why, when, how
By: Erick Herrmann
From Nov. 26: "Learning how to learn" is one of many goals educators have for their students. In fact, in a world where we cannot predict the jobs and work of the future, the act of learning, unlearning old ways of doing things and relearning new ways, is a 21st-century skill that is gaining increasing importance. The constantly changing landscape of technological advances in the workforce causes us to adapt ways of doing things on a seemingly daily basis. More

What we talk about when we talk about best practices: Methods and approaches
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
From Dec. 11: The previous two articles in this series examined the elements that constitute a best practices ESL program and began looking at the components of a best practices curriculum. Today, we look at the differences between methods and approaches and the critical application of multiple intelligence theory, learning styles theory and learning strategies. Best practices research distinguishes between methods and approaches and asserts that educators must have the flexibility to adapt their pedagogical approaches as necessary. More

Easy listening exercise for ESL students
By: Douglas Magrath
From July 24: Students need to bridge the gap between short ESL exercises and real lectures. The trend is now toward authentic texts, radio broadcasts and real lectures for college ESL to promote student learning and interest by stressing communication skills and presenting culture in a natural way. Listening is considered an active skill, and is emphasized in today's proficiency-oriented classrooms. Due to poor listening skills, students may not be ready to follow academic lectures and demonstrations when competing with native speakers. More

Key considerations for mainstream teachers of newcomer ELLs
By: Holly Hansen-Thomas
From Nov. 13: Content-area specialist teachers new to ELLs might experience something of a shock the first time a student who speaks not a word of English is placed in the class. Mainstream teachers should seek out high-quality professional development opportunities that focus on sheltering and differentiating instruction, understanding sociocultural and linguistic concepts, and learning the theoretical foundations of second language acquisition. They should also understand that the following notions must be at the forefront of planning and teaching newcomers. More

What we talk about when we talk about best practices
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
From Oct. 9: If you are part of an ESL program assessing your curriculum through a best practices lens, an institution looking to establish a best practices ESL program, or a teacher looking to work in a best practices program, what should you look for? In a series of articles, we'll examine elements that constitute a best practices program. Today, we begin with curriculum. There is a preponderance of best practices evidence affirming the efficaciousness of integrated curriculum. More

Tips for focusing ELL student presentations
By: Eva Sullivan
From July 31: Fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias in the United States. Imagine how much more difficult it is when English is not your first language. Besides breathing exercises, the best tip for overcoming stage fright is to focus on the material being presented and the purpose of the presentation. For English language learners, it is also helpful to focus on the oral language that will be used during the presentation. This guide should help your students avoid some of the most obvious pitfalls when making presentations to the class. More